Preparing for a Blizzard Part II
Now that you've winterized your home, you're ready to prepare for the unexpected. It's never too late to get everything you need before a storm.
Stock Up on Supplies
Every powerful storm brings a panic run on supermarkets and gas stations. Consider stocking up on the following to sustain you and your family over difficult days:
- Canned and Non-Perishable Food: Begin buying a few canned goods before the season with each trip to the supermarket as part of your regular shopping. Stocking up on soup, canned vegetables, dry pasta and other items gradually could create a substantial food source that could be useful during the winter months.
- Bottled Water: You should always keep a few extra gallons of water with some designated for drinking, others for non-consumption and set aside for washing up and cleaning, and even for first aid purposes.
- Battery-Operated Devices: A working supply of batteries can be the difference between staying illuminated and connected or stuck and ignorant in the dark. Keep an assortment of fresh batteries in different sizes for use in flashlights, radios, battery-operated charges and other useful equipment.
- Generators: Keeping a generator running requires diligent maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions (or find reliable tips online) and perform all necessary checks, change the oil and make sure you’re stocked with all the necessary equipment and fuel to keep it running. Store it outside of your house at a good distance, since generators emit carbon monoxide exhaust.
- Emergency & First-Aid Equipment: Keep your home first-aid kit fully stocked with fresh, clean bandages and non-expired topical applicants and gels. Fire extinguishers should also be full and inspections up-to-date.
Keep Your Car Storm-Ready
There could be that awful possibility of getting caught out on the highway in a terrible storm, only to discover that the highway has been closed and you are forced to shelter in place. Don’t let your motor idle, sapping battery life and fuel in an effort to keep warm. In addition to keeping a first-aid kit and jumper cables in your trunk, you may want to stow a shovel, scrapers and brushes to remove snow and dig out your car, or someone else who may need your assistance. You may also want to carry kitty litter or rock salt to free your car from slushy situations.
Here’s some other suggestions for keeping your car storm-ready:
- Snacks and water: have the foresight to keep snacks on hand, such as trail mix, nuts or anything else with a long shelf life, as well as a fresh bottle of water.
- Keeping warm: That sleeping bag that accompanied you on summer overnight trips could come in handy should you find you have to stay the night before the ploughs can clear the highway. Also a set of dry clothes (jeans, sweaters, shirt, socks and maybe even extra boots) to change into if what you’re wearing manages to get soggy.
- “Go Bags”: It may be a sound decision to have on hand in your car or home, packed and ready for emergencies, a “go bag” (aka, “bug-out bag”). The Get Ready campaign, an emergency preparedness campaign sponsored by the U.S. government, has a site where you can learn the basic contents: a set of clothes for extended stays, some money, first aid material, and anything else needed should there be a call to evacuate.
Keep Activity to Confined to Only a Few Rooms
It will prove important to reduce the amount of area that your family uses to retain heat. Designate areas such as the living room, the kitchen and a bathroom for habitation and to keep warm. Close off all other rooms—especially if they aren’t well insulated. If you keep enough people to only a few rooms, body heat and the heat given off by heaters and will last much longer, especially if the power goes out.
If you want more information regarding preparation for blizzards and nor’easters and the challenges these storms present, information can be easily obtained via material posted on the Red Cross and FEMA websites. Both proved helpful in compiling the tips and pointers mentioned in this article. Should you need help with cleanup and disposal in the aftermath, you can always count on SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to provide ready assistance.